BOLI: Girls, 13 and 15, employed and sexually harassed at Stars - KPTV - FOX 12

BOLI: Girls, 13 and 15, employed and sexually harassed at Stars Cabaret

Posted: Updated: Feb 17, 2016 02:33 PM
Stars Cabaret (file image) Stars Cabaret (file image)

The Bureau of Labor and Industries said an investigation into Stars Cabaret found "substantial evidence" of sexual harassment involving underage girls employed by the club.

BOLI filed a complaint against Stars Cabaret in Beaverton in August. On Wednesday, the agency reported that the complaint will now move to the administrative prosecution unit for drafting of formal charges.

A BOLI release states, "Investigators determined that Stars knew or should have known about repeated sexual harassment."

Investigators said from August to September 2014 – after police had arrested one of Stars' managers on charges of sexual abuse and compelling prostitution of a minor – the club employed another girl under 16 years of age to work as an adult entertainer.

BOLI stated the first victim, then 13, was prostituted out of one of the Stars Cabarets until she sought medical treatment and subsequently disclosed details of her abuse to a mandatory reporter.

Several men were arrested, convicted and sentenced to prison in connection to the sex trafficking investigation involving the Beaverton Stars Cabaret.

The second victim, then 15 years old, sought employment at Stars at the direction of a previously-convicted sex offender, according to BOLI.

"The investigation determined that both minors were employees, not independent contractors, rejecting the argument by respondents that a 13-year-old and 15-year-old negotiated and entered into a legally-enforceable contract. Stars also exercised extensive control over the dancers," according to a BOLI release.

Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian said BOLI intends to bring charges against the business, "that reflect the severity of harassment."

"It's unacceptable for employers to subject children to sexual harassment and abuse," Avakian said. "The heinous conditions uncovered in this investigation deserve a swift and aggressive response."

Oregon has implemented a hotline to provide information on workplace protections for exotic dancers and other live entertainment workers at 1-844-304-2654.

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